Kingsborough Early College School

Phone: (718) 333-7850
Website: Click here
Neighborhood: Bensonhurst
District: 21
Grade range: 06 thru 12
Parent coordinator: GENEVIEVE MERCALDO

What's special:

Students may get two years' college credit

The downside:

Metal detectors in the building

Middle School Stats


High School Stats


Our review

Kingsborough Early College School offers students the chance to take college courses at Kingsborough Community College. Some may even graduate from high school with two years of college credit. Classes are small, about 22 students in each.

The small school, serving grades 6-12, occupies the first floor and part of the basement of the Lafayette Educational Campus. Most students enter in the 6th grade, and there are very few seats for incoming 9th graders.

The school is part of the Early College Initiative at the City University of New York (CUNY), designed to better prepare students for college by exposing them to higher-level academics starting in middle school.

Principal Connie Hamilton, who founded the school in 2006, is “a very strong, very experienced leader,” said Cass Conrad, an official with CUNY who offers support to the school. Teachers say the principal values good teaching and the school has high academic standards, according to the Learning Environment Survey. Most teachers say they would recommend the school to a friend.

Fridays are set aside for “school-wide enrichment,” electives and projects based on students’ interests. These enrichment classes may be academic (such as one in which students dissect a frog), artistic (such as a pottery class) or practical (such as a cooking class), Conrad said.

College professors come to the high school to offer beginning college-level classes. More advanced students may take classes on the campus of Kingsborough Community College. The high school provides buses to take students to the college.

The Lafayette building is both a plus and a minus. On the positive side, students may take part in a wide array of building-wide sports, including football. On the negative side, students must pass through metal detectors. More than one-quarter of students say they don’t feel safe on the property outside the building and more than one-third of teachers say there are problems with order and discipline.

The students at the various schools in the building are kept apart. Start times are staggered to minimize interaction with students from the other schools, and Kingsborough students have the cafeteria to themselves during lunch.

Special education: The school offers Integrated Co-Teaching (ICT) classes.

Admissions: Open to students in districts 20, 21 and 31. Lottery for 6th grade. Current 8th graders get priority for 9th grade, and there are few spaces for new 9th graders. Students applying for 9th grade should attend an open house, bringing their report card and a letter of recommendation from a teacher. (Clara Hemphill, Eliana Mascio, interviews and open house, November 2012)

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